Fitbit Defeats Trademark Claim

British innovator of fitness tracking devices, Fitbug, waited too long to bring claims of trademark infringement against its popular American competitor, Fitbit, a federal judge in San Francisco has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Sam Conti dismissed the case against Fitbit Monday saying Fitbug’s claims are time-barred.

He rejected Fitbit’s counterclaims of state unfair business practices against Fitbug and vacated the looming Feb. 15 trial date, and sent both sides packing.

Both companies produce portable electronic fitness tracking devices that are worn by users to collect data about steps walked, calories burned, sleep and activity intensity.  The devices may be linked to computers and smartphones to track data.

Fitbug, which is headquartered in the U.K. first produced the tracker in 2004.  It began selling in the U.S. in 2005, but its success has been limited.

By contrast, competitor Fitbit, headquartered in San Francisco, founded in 2007 and began shipping products in 2009.  It quickly became a leading U.S. provider of the trackers.  It’s name was chosen by a poll on Facebook and company founders say they were unaware of Fitbug’s existence.

Fitbug sued in 2013 alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition and asked to cancel Fitbit’s trademark registration.

Fitbit asked that the suit be dismissed and Conti agreed saying a delay of four and one half years before filing suit was unreasonable.

As a result he did not consider additional arguments for dismissal.

 

Case: Fitbug v. Fitbit Inc., No. 13-1418SC

 

 

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